There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about the replacement of the Skoda Rapid in India. What is going to be one of the most important launches from the VW Group in India this year, the replacement of the Rapid is expected to debut by Diwali 2021. Responding to a query on Twitter, Zac Hollis, Skoda India's Director of Sales and Marketing, has confirmed that the new sedan will be pricier than the Rapid. This opens up the possibility that Skoda could be selling the new sedan right alongside the current-gen Rapid, just as Honda sells the fourth-gen and fifth-gen City alongside each other.
Although Skoda has already debuted the next-gen Rapid for markets abroad, this will not be the model that makes it to India. Instead, the Skoda Rapid replacement will be a completely new and bigger sedan that will be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform. Sometime ago, Skoda trademarked the name 'Slavia' in India and we believe it could be the official name of the upcoming sedan. Skoda will announce the official name sometime in 2021. Like all other upcoming Skoda and Volkswagen cars, the new sedan will be part of VW Group's India 2.0 Project.
The Skoda Rapid replacement, and all other upcoming Skoda and Volkswagen cars, will be petrol-only models in India, powered by VW Group's TSI turbo-petrol engines. Skoda have said that the 1.0L TSI engine will be the bread and butter engine for the India 2.0 Project, and so we expect this engine to be offered on the upcoming sedan as well. The MQB-A0-IN platform, however, is also capable of handling the bigger 1.5L TSI turbo-petrol engine that currently does duty on the Skoda Karoq.
There is thus a possibility that Skoda could offer the bigger engine with higher-spec variants of the Rapid replacement. Transmission options will likely include a 6-speed manual transmission and an optional 6-speed torque converter automatic. Like the Octavia, the new sedan will be a notchback, which means it will get a liftback tailgate. However, before this all-new sedan, Skoda will be concentrating their efforts on the next-gen Skoda Octavia and the upcoming Skoda Kushaq, with the latter slated for its global debut on March 18, 2021.
So the current-gen Skoda Rapid will soldier on for some more time before it is replaced or joined by another new sedan by the end of 2021. It is currently offered with a 1.0L TSI turbo-petrol engine that produces 110hp and 175N of torque. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Currently, the Rapid retails from INR 7.99 lakh to INR 13.29 lakh (ex-showroom), and its replacement could be priced from INR 10 lakh onwards. It will, however, continue its rivalry with the likes of the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and even Volkswagen Vento’s replacement.